A short review of January at The Mill:

The staff and volunteers of The Mill took a well earned break over Christmas, reopening in the New Year.  Our Children’s Art Competition results went on the wall, with some lovely pictures and prizes thanks to The Windmill local cafe and tapas bar.  Congratulations and thanks to the winners and all the participants.  We had lots of new activities starting, including from those funded by Mill small grants towards the end of 2011.
Libby Liburd started working with secondary-age children on the Arts Award programme and we had some brilliant circus skills workshops for children of all ages.  Other activities returned after the break, some off to a flying start, but a number with reduced attendance.  We wondered whether this was affected by our decision to close over the holidays, the winter weather, or a combination of the above.  At least we had the heating, although it turns out we now need to find money to upgrade the electrics.
Our wonderful volunteer Jim finished fixing up and decorating upstairs and we were able to talk properly to potential tenants.  Social Spider were the first to sign up and are very welcome!  Our hope is that we can achieve basic sustainability through renting upstairs and downstairs rooms and a bit of fundraising, plus of course lots of vital volunteer contributions.
Then we’ll seek to add to that through fundraising for grants for more projects and, crucially, staff.  It feels like we’re very much into a transitional stage now, but it’s impossible to believe, given what a success the community has made of this venture, and how much support it has, that we can’t somehow make The Mill a long-term success.
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